Government moves to reorganise new cities

Government has embarked on plans to reorganise physical planning of the newly-created cities to make them sustainable.

The exercise, which will be rolled out under the Green Uganda’s urbanisation and Industrialisation project, targets Arua, Gulu and Soroti cities. It also involves creation of industrial parks or free zones in Gulu, Packwach, and Entebbe municipalities.

The project will be implemented by the Government of Uganda in partnership with Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), with funding from the European Union.

The GGGI country representative, Ms Dadmar Zwebe, wrote to the Town Clerks of the selected cities and municipalities last month informing them about the resumption of planning meetings.

Ms Zwebe noted that although GGGI had earlier communicated the intention to commence the comprehensive planning of the selected cities, the planned consultations and planning processes were halted in compliance with measures instituted to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“…this letter, therefore, serves to inform you of these activities and seek your permission to undertake the planned activities in your city/districts as per the attached schedule,” Ms Zwebe’s letter reads in part.

According to the programme, the consultations will be attended by representatives of the districts and sub-county leaders, cultural leaders and technocrats.

The engagements are meant to ensure there is a shared vision for the cities among all stakeholders involved in the planning process.

Under the project, government not only seeks to make cities sustainable but also make them environmentally friendly, and also offer poverty alleviation programmes to improve the livelihoods of the people living in these cities.

Government is optimistic that once the cities have a planning framework, it will be easy for them to attract reasonable financing.

Mr Justinian Niwagaba, the commissioner of urban planning and administration in the Ministry of Local Government, recently told this newspaper that the new cities should not only prioritise physical planning and infrastructural development but also attract investors.

“A number of development partners have already expressed interest to support development initiatives under the urban partners development group in the areas of physical planning, city branding, human resources, capacity building, and infrastructure development. We are interesting them in scientific solid waste management. The cities need to make economic investments such as markets and abattoirs, and also intensify revenue collection,” he said.

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